Generic name

The generic name is the chemical name of a medicine. This name is the same no matter how many companies manufacture the medicine.

When a company makes a medicine, they give it a prescription, or brand name. A generic name medicine can be made by more than one company. And each company may have their own brand name for the same generic name medicine. So, there can be more than one brand name for each generic name. Generic names and brand names of medicines are chemically the same. But generic name medicines are usually less expensive. A health professional may be able to prescribe a generic name medicine if it is available and appropriate.

Last Updated: May 1, 2008

Author: Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS

Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine

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